Weird numbers

The Department of Health and Social Care spent more than £75 million on transporting ‘Moonshot’ tests from China that could miss up to half of coronavirus cases, The Telegraph can reveal.

A total of £76.59 million has been spent on air freight alone for lateral flow tests since the announcement of ‘Operation Moonshot’, analysis shows. The proposed mass-testing scheme had initially intended to perform 10 million tests a day.

Yer Wha’?

Air freight from China is about $5 a kg. Sure, it’s higher for smaller amounts but they’re not talking about small shipments. If anything, they’d be chartering a plane and that’s cheaper per kilo.

15 thousand tonnes of tests?

There’s a zero or more going missing here. Or, the bill isn’t for the air freight, it’s for the tests as well. But summat there isn’t right.

13 thoughts on “Weird numbers”

  1. I’d doubt that $5/kg. I import loads of stuff from China. Must come air because it routes through Baratas/Madrid. To avoid VAT/EU import taxes I keep the value below 21€ goods + carriage. (It’s the processing charges, more than the taxes themselves that hurt) In some cases $5/kg would be more than I’m paying goods + carriage.

  2. “…that could miss up to half coronavirus cases”..?? WTF? Wouldn’t it be better stated as “has a much lower false-positive rate than RT-PCR”?

    Must keep the numbers up and the sheeple terrified I suppose.

  3. I think i said in a comment before- bbq acquaintance, a pilot, who took up similar gig with PPE. Claimed the outward run was with bullion to pay for it at Chinese insistence.

  4. £75m sounds like a small bet with a high potential reward, which is probably exactly the kind of thing we should be doing when facing a novel virus, no?

    How much have we spaffed on Nightingale hospitals?

  5. So we fly all these tests out to China and fly them back? Instead of losing their reason over climate change, wouldn’t a sensible government have planned and encouraged sufficient capacity here, or at least shared among countries we consider as allies?

  6. Climate change? For those who are interested, our beach in this most southerly part of Europe is currently covered in snow. Global Warming must be particularly fierce today.

  7. Rob

    The whole point of lateral flow tests is that you do not need to send them to a lab to be assessed. Like the most common lateral flow test, the pregnancy test, you do it yourself at home and see the results come up on the little screen

  8. This is like the much bandied number of £22 billion for test and trace – has anyone ever cited a primary source for this?

  9. @BiS. Ah, but that is freak weather caused by global warming.

    The fact that it’s a known phenomenon at the Arctic related to the solar cycle, the snaking of the jet stream, and stratospheric ( not tropospheric!) weather that happens roughly every 10 years is entirely irrelevant and conveniently forgotten…

    Short version: it’s been unusually hot over the alaskan/siberian arctic, that creates a solid high pressure over the other end, which makes the weather northern Europe usually “enjoys” around this time bounce off south towards the Mediterranean.
    Or makes for Snow in Texas, as the inevitable reverse will come bouncing down that lovely air scoop called “the Rocky Mountains”.
    It’s actually been going on all through summer/fall already.

  10. For those that remember the Vancouver Winter Olympics a decade ago had to ship in snow from further inland as it ran into a El Niño cycle, oddly despite being the birthplace of Greenpeace people there are quite used to the phenomena and dont assume the world is ending.
    See also idiot DiCaprio getting all wound up and shocked when a chinook wind swept in, locals know about quirks of weather and don’t blame everything on climate change

  11. BIS: The weather’s been odd here too lately. I actually wore a sweater this morning. In Brisbane!! In January!!

    It’s more normal now, but I still don’t have to hold the fan about 6 inches away to make sure I don’t soak everything with sweat.

    PS. When the old family home was built, only rich Americans had air conditioning.

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